GOSHEN — Officials at Forest River Inc. have announced the acquisition of assets of the Startrans Bus division from Supreme Industries Inc. The move is expected to add around 80 jobs to the Forest River payroll.
Startrans Bus is a builder of small to midsize shuttle buses for both the public and private transportation markets in the United States.
According to an article in RV Business, Forest River’s latest acquisition will be manufactured in one of the company’s 100,000-square-foot plants in Goshen. David Wright, president of the new Startrans Bus division, said, “Production of Startrans buses will resume April 14 after the transfer of machinery, inventory and equipment from their current Goshen facility.”
Wright did not provide 2014 production estimates yet for Startrans Bus, but is optimistic that 2014 output will exceed the 1,000 buses manufactured in 2013.
“The combination of Startrans’ strong dealer base, brand loyalty and Forest River’s manufacturing expertise should quickly return Startrans to the forefront of the shuttle bus market,” he said. “We’ve interviewed and offered positions to several current Startrans Bus employees. However, we do not yet have an exact count on how many of their employees will actually be joining Forest River. The acquisition of Supreme Industries’ bus division will likely add about 80 jobs overall once our hiring is complete.”
Startrans bus design, production, purchasing, quality control, sales and marketing will all be kept as a separate unit from other Forest River bus divisions.
Of Forest River’s four bus divisions, Starcraft Bus and now Startrans Bus will be built in Goshen. The Glaval Bus and Elkhart Coach bus divisions are built at Forest River plants in Elkhart. Forest River’s other main business units include recreational vehicles, pontoon boats and cargo trailers.